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My Student Loan during my College Days

Updated on April 30, 2011

My first and last

I was able to avail a Student Loan when I was still struggling to pay my matriculation fees in college (way back 1996).

I already incurred two years of SSS (Social Security System) quarterly dues, here in the Philippines, when the government-owned agency management allowed me to avail one.

Since my work was locally-based, as radio personality, the computation of premium and dividends summed up to just Php 4,000.00 (Four thousand pesos) during that time. It was good enough to cover or pay my subject loads for a semester. The payment per unit was Php 95.00+ (about $3.00) and I had to get 23 units or more as a regular student.

The requirements: SSS payment data slip, college enrolment form along with the registrar's computation of matriculation fees for the semester.

I waited a week for the processing. I was in the province so, the approval will sill come from the national office in Manila.

When I received the check, I had to encash it to the bank affiliate of the SSS. My other classmates who also went to the process gave their checks directly to the school's cashier.

Paying it back, I allowed our accountant on the radio to deduct it from my salary.

I never attempted to have a second Student Loan because of the rigors of paying it back.

Note:If you have a standing loan history at the SSS, you can still avail of the calamity loan but not the multi-purpose or business loan. Unless, you've paid the borrowed principal amount plus the interest.

Otherwise, if you're intelligent enough, you can avail of the scholarship grant being offered by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in the country, the popular Study Now, Pay Later Plan (SNPLP). My elder sister did avail it; I can't because only one is allowed in the family.

Student Loans in the USA

Paying back is the end cycle of availing student loans. It differs from scholarships and grants that you don't have to pay after graduating college.

US President Barack Obama and the present legislators and the Congress made changes to the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 that allows deferment to students and forgiveness among teachers and health professionals serving in low-income areas.

Financial aids for students and professionals in the USA are:

  1. Federal Student Loans - made directly to students.
  2. Federal Student Loans to Parents - with higher limits and the payment start immediately.
  3. Private Student Loans made to Parents or Students - higher limits but no payments until graduation.

Federal student loans in the United States are authorized under Title IV of the Higher Education Act as amended.

The US Department of Education published a booklet comparing federal loans to private loans. In this booklet, a student should take note of the things that allows him/her to have a loan. It centered on paying educational expenses (tuition or matriculation, board and lodging, other fees, transportation, rental or purchaseof personal computer books and other supplies).

These loans can be subsidized or unsubsidized by the US Government. From freshman, the amount usually starts at $5, 000.00 (Five thousand dollars) up to $10,000.00 (Ten thousand dollars) or more for the next level until senior undergrads. Subsidized federal student loans are only offered to students with demonstrated financial need. For those who graduated in college, he/she will repay the principal amount plus the interest; although, it varies from school to school (private or public colleges).

A college graduate or undergrad will be discharged in bankruptcy only when he/she shows "undue hardship". Or he/she cannot make things end meet.

Bankruptcy Code Section 523(a)(8) determines what loans can and cannot be discharged.

Note: While US Federal student loans can be discharged for total and permanent disability, private student loans cannot be discharged outside of bankruptcy.

Student loan programs in the US are bombarded with criticisms. Many students who graduated were uncapable to pay the whole sum due to the accrued interest. The changes in the lending program took effect last year (July 1, 2010). Universities and colleges in the country abide with the change. The result: millions of dollars were rebated back to affected borrowers or students.

Travel Man's advice on having Student Loan

 Like I said before, I'm not an expert with regards to Finances. But as I grow older, I become streetwise, I should say, and impart  some of my pointers to students who want to avail Student Loan.

First things, first. Are you ready for the consequences after graduation. There are many unplanned things that will come your way, even if you graduated from college.

It can be:

  • Marriage - You either marry your college love or met your partner after graduation. Paying back can be hard even if you got a job. Income can be tight due to other priorities, especially when you already have children.
  • Accidents/Diseases - Its inevitable. It just plays around the trims of our fingers, so, I heard from the elders. As for me, I underwent appendectomy, while still in college. Paying back was so difficult to me. I still had to pay for my food and lodging, transportation, books and tuition as well.
  • Death - This is morbid but we don't know the extent of our life in this world. One of my batchmates in college met a motorcycle accident. He was a scholar at the maritime school where I was studying.

Let's not go around the bush. You can either focus on your studies or focus on your girlfriend/boyfriend and the lure of joining fraternities and sororities that can eat much of your time.

Priority should be your goal when availing of Student Loan. From school, you should directly head to your home or boarding house. You can do this by sticking on to your scheduled activities. Unlike me, duringmy college days, I still have to go to the radio station for drama recording and as production assistant to the production manager. My body surrendered. I nearly quit college but persevered.

I went to three colleges, mind you, from vocational, university and maritime schools. I ended up in the ship's galley, sitting aside my undergrad communication course (no thesis yet) and my drafting skills.

Temptations are everywhere. When in college, everyone is hungry for adventure, a new leash of experiences. But as they say, what comes around, comes around. We're just moving in circles. Dig it?

I mean, what we sow, we reap (verses from the Bible). We can never attain success if we never work hard for it during our college days.

So, by gaining the confidence, the control and urge to attain something in the future, I'm sure you are ready to avail one of the student loans offered at the university or from the government.

Study hard. You must graduate first, then get a job and pay it back.

Good luck!

Surviving Student Loans and College Debt c/o usnewsandworldreport


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    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @JYOTI KOTHARI: Thank you for appreciating and sharing this hub, Sir. :)

    • JYOTI KOTHARI profile image

      Jyoti Kothari 3 years ago from Jaipur

      Useful hub. Rated up and shared in H+

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @choi: I didn't loan via CHED's approval; it's on my SSS account. I hope I answered your question correctly.

    • profile image

      choi 6 years ago

      Magkano po nillend ng ched? thank you

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      Thanks, Simone. I feel, I won already with just your comment gracing on my hub. No kidding! :D

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      This is a wonderful, thoughtful guide. I appreciate all of your tips, and the real care you put into sharing them. I hope that people heed your advice!